International Labour and Trade Union Studies

BA (Hons) Degree

Part Time

Sep 2017

Four and a Half Years (PT)

Contact us: 01865 759600

This course will help you analyse employment relations issues on a global basis including attacks on workers’ rights, international migration, aging populations and other challenges for contemporary trade unions. You will think critically about these issues and more, and will become equipped with the knowledge needed to progress in your trade union career.

If you are active in trade unions, worker organisations or community groups then this course is for you. It covers four main themes: Employment Relations, Law, Sociology, and Economics - although no prior academic knowledge of these subjects is required.

This course is validated by The Open University.

Level 4

  • Employment Relations in Theory and Practice

  • The Law and the Employment Relationship

  • Work and Economic Change

  • Critical Skills and Personal Development

Level 5

  • Research Methods

  • Labour in a Globalised World

  • Labour Movement History and Development

  • Work and Sustainability

Level 6

  • Critical Reflection

  • Contemporary Trade Unionism

  • Developments in the Global Economy

  • Dissertation

The course deploys a range of teaching and learning methods which embrace formal classroom sessions, student lead seminars, study visits, small group work, tutorials and debates. You will be required to attend the college six weekends a year during term time.

Teaching is interactive and is designed to draw upon the work/life experience of students as a means of generating a body of shared practical knowledge against which more theoretical and research- based material can be evaluated. For each module you will meet as a whole group to explore key topics and to consolidate learning. In addition to these group-based activities, you will be expected to put in around ten hours of guided study, working independently and sometimes in small groups depending upon the nature of the topic covered.

There are no exams, but you will be graded on summative assessments and marked and graded assessments - including written essays, presentations, group debates and case studies.

Tutors on this course:

Dr Peter Dwyer, Dr Lee Humber and Pete Martin


Home/EU tuition fees are £9,000 per year for full time students. The International fee is £9,000 per year. Part time student fees are £6,750 per year.

Fees are payable to Ruskin College on enrolment. Please note that these fees may be subject to change. Subject to eligibility, most full and part time students will be eligible to apply for a Tuition Fee Loan from the Student Loans Company.


Subject to eligibility, full time students may be eligible to apply for help with their living costs with a Maintenance Grant/Loan. Part time students are not eligible for any financial help with maintenance.


Funding is available from Student Finance England if you live in England (, 0845 300 5090). If you live in other parts of the UK please contact Student Finance Wales, Student Finance Northern Ireland or the Student Award Agency for Scotland. International students will be responsible for the payment of their own tuition fees. Further information on funding can be found in our fees and funding support section.


There are some Trade Union Scholarships available. Find out more here.


Students who are not resident in college need to budget for transport to the college. All students will need to consider the additional costs of books and stationery items – although much of the reading material that you need will be available in the college library.

Entry Requirements & How to Apply MORE INFORMATION

Ruskin College is committed to widening participation and has no specific Level 3 academic entry requirements for students to study on its higher education programmes. Students must demonstrate that they have the ability to benefit from studying the programme and fulfil the learning outcomes of the programme. Students must demonstrate an interest in the field of study they wish to undertake. Students may be required to undergo an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service check prior to commencing their programme if they plan to undertake external work experience or placement opportunities offered by that programme.

If you have a Certificate of Higher Education or 120 Credits in a relevant subject you may be eligible for direct entry onto Level 5. Similarly, if you have a Diploma of Higher Education or 240 Credits in a relevant subject you may be eligible for direct entry onto Level 6 of this course.

Apply now.

This course has been designed for trade unionists and other activists and naturally leads students into associated careers such as full-time trade union officials, trade union organisers or project workers on TU-related initiatives. You could also work in research for Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs) or in social movements or international campaigning organisations.